[ Country-by-Country Reports ]
ICELAND (TIER 2)
[Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
Iceland is primarily a
destination country and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for men and
women from the Baltic states, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, Equatorial Guinea,
Brazil, and China trafficked to and through Iceland to Western European
states for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor in
the restaurant and construction industries.
The Government of Iceland
does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of
trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2008, the
Government of Iceland drafted a national action plan to fight trafficking.
However, the government did not demonstrate significant law enforcement
efforts during the reporting period. Victim identification and victim
assistance was a challenge; some victims of trafficking may have been
deported without any effort to determine whether they were victims. The
government also did not conduct any anti-trafficking awareness campaigns.
the criminal code to ensure penalties prescribed for sex trafficking are
commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape;
increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and
convict and punish trafficking offenders; provide training for law
enforcement investigators and prosecutors on trafficking cases; develop legal
alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face
retribution or hardship; develop a victim identification and referral
mechanism; consider opening a trafficking-specific shelter to ensure that
victims are adequately assisted; ensure that victims are not penalized for
acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, including immigration
violations; and conduct an awareness and prevention campaign focused on both
sex and labor trafficking and the demand for both forms of trafficking.
The Government of Iceland demonstrated modest law enforcement efforts over
the reporting period. Iceland prohibits trafficking for both sexual
exploitation and forced labor through Section 227 of its criminal code,
although prosecutors have never used Section 227 and have instead relied on
alien smuggling and document forgery statutes to prosecute trafficking cases.
Punishments prescribed for trafficking under section 227 extend up to eight
years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent, though not
commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape.
Police conducted one sex trafficking investigation and one labor trafficking
investigation during the reporting period, compared to no investigations in
2007. Authorities prosecuted and convicted no traffickers in 2008, the same
as in 2007.
Iceland demonstrated limited efforts to assist and protect trafficking
victims over the last year. Local governments and NGOs identified 20 probable
victims of trafficking and less than 10 victims received assistance from
government-funded programs. Iceland did not provide trafficking-specific
shelters; instead victims were accommodated at a domestic violence shelter.
In 2008, the care available under this structure was limited because the
government did not provide trafficking-specific assistance that adequately
addressed the unique needs of victims of trafficking. Icelandic authorities
did not employ procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking; the
lack of such procedures increased the risk that victims were detained,
prosecuted, jailed, and deported for immigration violations. Iceland did not
employ a victim referral process, though NGOs reported that some law
enforcement officers referred victims for assistance on an ad hoc
basis. Victims were encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution
of trafficking offenders; two victims assisted law enforcement in 2008.
Iceland conducted no substantive trafficking prevention efforts, including
measures to increase public awareness of trafficking, during the reporting
period. The government did, however, draft a national action plan to address
trafficking. Border police at the country’s only international airport
provided potential trafficking victims with information about assistance if
they find themselves in a future trafficking scenario. The government adequately
monitored immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. Iceland has not
ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.